Understanding the Islamic Republic of Iran presents complex challenges. It requires knowledge of Islam, Shi'ism, and the peculiar interpretation of Shi'ism that Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini developed to legitimize the formation of an Islamic state. It also requires an exploration of the complex and overlapping structures that together comprise the Iranian regime, as well as the individuals who control those structures and their relationships. The guides in this section are designed to provide basic descriptions of key ideas, organizations, and individuals. Although each guide stands alone, they also form a number of series that address major aspects of the regime and its ideology, including:
The Fifteenth Branch of the Revolutionary Tribunal condemns Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, daughter of the former president, to six months in prison and five years of prohibition against political, cultural and media activities.
Maj.-Gen. Ataollah Salehi, Army commander, speaking about the Velayat-e 90 naval exercise, warns the United States: "We were not pursuing any irrational work, but we are ready for any threat... We recommend, urge and warn them that this aircraft carrier should not return to its previous position in the Persian Gulf. We do not have the habit of repeating our warnings and only warn once... Our move in the sea is reactive and not offensive. This is an exercise in international waters and in order to defend the interests of the Islamic Republic and Islamic states. Friends of the Islamic Republic should know that it would be better to rely on a brother country like Iran, rather than losing dignity, respect and money through dependence on Western countries and the United States."
According to Kuwaiti Al-Ra'i, a group of young Egyptians have established a group called "the Revolutionary Guards of Egypt" inspired by the Revolutionary Guards in Iran. The logo of the group is the Egyptian flag adorned with the portrait of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
IRGC chief Mohammad Ali Jafari evaluates the Guards' role in suppression of the 2009 anti-government protests: "One must admit that many institutions were surprised in their dealings with this event and did not have the necessary preparedness to counter this volume of soft assaults... In 2009 we faced new methods of threats which were unknown to many... Methods of civil disobedience, mass mobilization and communication through the social networking sites, or fast transfer of information through electronic technology, were all issues not known to the intelligence and security services of the country previously. On the other hand, there was such tumult and dust in the atmosphere that some of the commoners and elites could not have a correct analysis of the conditions. Therefore, understanding of the situation and deciding what was right and wrong needed time... The enemy will doubtlessly try to revive the unrest and public protests up to the parliamentary election. We have news and intelligence showing that they have planned for this for a long time... to blow new life into the body of the movement of sedition..."
Ali-Ashraf Nouri, Revolutionary Guards Political Bureau commander, says the Guards had "not tasked any institution to suppress" the protesters following the June 12, 2009 popular unrest. Nouri continued that in the course of the "sedition," the "Basij members acted based upon their defensive spirit."
"In reality, [the opposition] wants individuals who know they will be disqualified, to register for the ninth parliamentary election so they can use the opportunity after they are disqualified, to pose a security challenge to the elections. It is also possible that the enemy will, like 2009, use other methods to make challenges in the electoral field..."
"In Iran, religious democracy has been achieved at a very high price. The aim of the election is to elect persons with values who are pious and servile and experts for the legislative branch..."
"The role of the Guards is above supporting political groups or raising the flag of this party, group or individual. We will not allow the Guards to be the standard bearer of the parties and political groups... But if individuals or political groups announced positions which are similar to the standards of the Guards, it is not a problem; indeed, we would like such a thing... The Guards are loyal to the principles and slogans and is in the path of the Imam and the Leader... The parliament must be in the hands of principled and pious persons and the statesmen must have these qualifications."
"Armed forces with military skills can, through presence in parliament, have a coherent position in decision-making... Presence of Guardsmen in elections and the parliament is a way of guarding the citadel of the revolution... Defense obligations of the guardsmen can, following their departure from responsibilities or membership in the Guards, continue in parliament..."
Hojjat al-Eslam Abd al-Ali Govahi, Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Greater Tehran Mohmamad Rasoul-Allah Revolutionary Guards unit says "some remnants of the sedition of 2009 who made the hearts of the people bleed will soon be in the claws of justice."
Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi, representative of the Supreme Leader to the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, addressing the people in Shahr-e Kord, says thanks to the Guardianship of the Jurist, Iran has become impenetrable for the enemy.
Hossein Salami, Revolutionary Guards deputy chief, comments on the U.S. authorities' statements on the Strait of Hormuz:"Iran does not ask for permission from any country in order to enact its defense strategies... Whenever vital interests of Iran are threatened... we will answer threats will threats and will not abstain from enacting our strategies."
Jafari comments on the situation in Tehran: "The cultural/political situation in Tehran is not good and different problems exacerbate it. The authorities ignoring these issues has led to the enemy's cultural assault in the face of which the Guards can't remain indifferent."
Hamid-Reza Moqaddam-Far, Revolutionary Guards Cultural commander, slams the Foreign Ministry's public diplomacy effort. Moqaddam-Far says "The British themselves wanted the people to enter the embassy compound... Unfortunately, this time, the officers of the soft-warfare played into the enemy's hand..."
Said Qassemi, a former IRGC officer: "During the sedition many were silent, be it our own people, the people of theological seminaries and some [IRGC] commanders... Had it not been for Ahmadinejad's mistakes, one could say that we could have eliminated [the Green Movement], but of course, great men make great mistakes..."
Iran announced on Tuesday that it is waiting for a response by EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton on the date and venue for the future negotiations between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).